So the time has come for you to pick a CRM software; each year, more and more organisations rely on CRM software, and the global CRM market is expected to grow 245% by 2028, which is great news for you because there are a plethora of options available to you. However, there are a few red flags to avoid when choosing CRM software, which we will go over in this article - don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Throughout this article, we will sprinkle experts' advice on this topic so that you get a better understanding of what to look out for.
🚩Only email syncing
When choosing a CRM system, you have to make sure that it supports multi-channel communication such as calls, online chats, and social media channels - not just email. Your sales reps should be able to easily gather all the conversations from multiple channels and keep them in one place.
This way, you'll see the information about the client wherever you are, in the chat on the website, on your LinkedIn profile, etc. You don’t have to check another system to get the details about the client. The same thing when you are in your CRM system, you have the entire history of all the conversations with this particular lead or customer.
It also helps to increase the level of customer service because regardless of the channels your clients reach out to you – you already know everything about them. There’s no need to ask lots of detailed questions. You may jump quickly into their question and provide the assistance immediately.
“First, the most important thing that I would have looked out for when comparing options was the extent to which it integrated easily with other systems. As an example, we spend a lot of time in both email applications and our CRM, and many systems have very limited email integration that forces users to spend too much time toggling back and forth.”
🗣️ Will Schneider, WarehousingAndFulfillment
You don't have to look far and wide because NetHunt offers all the above-mentioned integrations and supports multi-channel communication!
🚩 No workflow automation
Well, this one is pretty obvious since the CRM system's sales reporting and process automation functions are used by 82% of organisations, according to a recent analysis. This means that that's a prevalent reason why people decide to opt for a CRM system, and even if automation is not your initial goal, you should still consider this functionality.
Your business will grow, the number of customers will become bigger and you might want to use sales automation in the future. It helps to work with leads and customers more effectively while maintaining your team highly effective and happy. Who likes monotonous tasks?
Here are just some tasks that can be automated using a CRM:
- Set automatic follow-ups to never miss out on a lead and increase conversion rates.
- Email personalisation and automation to establish the initial personal connection and ensure your customers get all the necessary information on time.
- Lead scoring to rank prospects on a scale that represents their perceived value, and make sure that you nurture any potential buyers or give that little push to someone who’s not quite ready to commit.
- Pipeline automation to move leads throughout the pipeline based on their actions.
- Task creation when it’s related to pipeline changes or leads outreach.
- Notifications for managers to be in the loop when something worth-attention happens with the lead or customer.
We will be here all day listing all the processes that should be automated; here is our article that highlights processes for sales reps and managers that can be automated. So if the system you have your eye on does not offer this, then it's time to switch to NetHunt, because here we have automation-galore!
“Most out-of-date CRM systems don't offer much, if any, automation. But you need a system with workflow automation if you want to gain from having a CRM. Smaller businesses appreciate having one since it gives staff members more time to deal with other difficulties. Additionally, it is practically essential for bigger businesses. Larger firms just couldn't handle client data without process automation.“
🗣️ Lachlan de Crespigny, Revelo
🚩Limited integration with third-party tools
Your departments might use a ton of different tools, and it makes sense for all those tools to be united in a single ecosystem. It gives you the whole picture of business health and eliminates the necessity to aggregate data from various tools and analyse it correctly.
Cold calling tools, email systems, data enrichment tools, marketing automation, just to name a few – all have to be connected to the heart of your business, a CRM system.
Even though CRM systems are usually integrated with a solid number of tools, it’s impossible for every CRM to be directly connected to every sales tool available on the market.
When choosing a CRM, pay attention to the possibility to connect other tools through third-party services, such as Zapier. Besides, Zapier is also a good indicator of the trustworthiness of the company as they only list software worth working with.
“A good rule of thumb is to see if the CRM you're considering is listed on Zapier, the most popular system connector. If it isn't listed, have an experienced developer look under the hood to identify any limitations in the CRM's APIs.”
🗣️ Kaitie Weaver, Helcim
If this option is not available, you may check if it’s possible to do the integration through CRM’s API. Please, keep in mind that you’ll need to involve a developer from your side to tie a few tools.
🚩No access in the cloud
There is already a trend for distributed teams, and COVID-19 just streamlined this. More and more people have started to work remotely and need the ability to access necessary data at any given time. Make sure that you opt for a CRM system that offers cloud-based solutions.
Despite some of the advantages of on-premise solutions, a web-based system makes it possible to stay connected from anywhere in the world. When working from home or on the road, cloud-based CRMs can be a lifesaver; these statistics go to show that 94% of businesses use at least one cloud solution in their company and here is why:
- Lower price tag
- Simple to set up
- Accessible at any time or location with minimal effort
- Because it isn't hosted locally, it requires no upkeep
- Frequent updates
It also turns out to be cheaper for businesses to have a CRM system that is hosted in the cloud as they don’t need to buy or rent dedicated servers, hire system administrators to support the servers, update the system, etc.
Thus, with cloud-based CRM you don't have to worry about the business processes, wherever your team is located, they can work and contribute to business success.
It's essential to have a CRM system that reflects your business's processes, sales and marketing strategy, and customer service activities.
Because of this, we recommend you go with a system that allows you to set up your CRM to fit the processes you have already established in your company; not to reshape processes because of the CRM.
For example, the ability to edit folders, add or remove necessary fields from the customer record, customise your sales pipeline, and set up automation and reporting are all essential features in a CRM system.
If you have seven stages in your sales process you’d like those stages to be reflected in the pipeline you build in a CRM system. If a CRM is not customizable and has only 5 stages in the pipeline, you might not be happy with it. Why? You’ll have to change your processes and some activities will just be invisible.
Alternatively, you might not need the whole list of record fields because a big amount of data is not necessarily good.
Having to alter your work processes purely to suit a CRM system is just not worth the hassle, especially because a lot of CRM systems put a juicy price tag on customisation. It will be difficult for the team to adapt to the new system, and they will give up using it. For business owners or sales leads it will be just a waste of money.
🚩Low social media presence and reviews
As for anything in this world, check before you buy. I’m pretty sure you know this, but in case you’re like my grandmother who buys anything she sees without researching it, let me explain.
If you have an eye on a CRM system that fits all the necessary criteria, but you try to go over to their LinkedIn or Twitter page, and it’s either non-existent or is clearly lacking attention, that's not a good sign. A good CRM system, like any other business, will continuously update its social media channels. If they have nothing to say about their company and the progress they make - think twice if you want to trust your data to the system like this.
Another thing is that you should be able to find reviews on the CRM vendor easily; G2 is a good and trusted source for this. NetHunt CRM is honoured to earn an independent score of 4.7 out of 5 on G2.
You can read specific reviews to see if people recommend this type of CRM system for businesses like yours, or they’ll spot the missing of critical features for you. No one can better describe the software as its real users.
“If you come across a system that appears to be new and has a low price, yet there are little to no reviews, be wary. Cybercriminals are constantly trying to access the personal information of companies and their clients/customers, so when it comes to choosing a CRM software, you want to pick one that is reputable.”
🗣️ Maria, Trade Show Labs
🚩Lack of customer support and training
Having someone to turn to when things go awry with any technology is crucial. First, verify how much support your CRM solution offers and how much it would cost to add on. Some CRM solutions appear cheap, but when the road gets tough and your business requires more support than what is covered in your contract or subscription, you might find yourself in quite a pickle.
It’s quite difficult to get an understanding of the level of customer support before you become a paying customer. Even though, while using CRM’s trial period, reach out to the customer support team via multiple channels to understand if you are satisfied with it.
You should keep an eye out for things like:
- Is there a public knowledge base available, such as YouTube videos, articles, and Q&A?
- How long do they reply?
- The quality of the answers to your requests.
- Do they have a chatbot on their website?
- Do they reply to you via other channels?
- Small things like when they do reply, is their grammar, style of communication professional?
“The biggest red flag when choosing a CRM is the lack of technical support they provide. A CRM needs to talk to other systems in your business, and sometimes you will need help from your CRM on how to connect up the systems and what to do when systems go down. Changing CRMs is an instrumental task, so make sure the support is there from day one.”
🗣️ Felix Tim, Repair Circle
As for training: one of the most critical elements of a successful CRM implementation and team adoption is adequate training. For everyone to use the system to its full potential, it should be an ongoing, hands-on experience.
Often, price is one of the decisive factors of choosing a CRM system. Especially if you have a big team. The bigger team, the bigger amount of licenses and the bigger expenses.
At the same time, the price can be deceiving; while some CRMs appear to be inexpensive when you check their pricing page, the total price might be different.
Some systems charge you additionally for implementing the system, providing email or phone support, and training your team, however, those numbers are not initially reflected on their pricing page.
Also, some of the essential functions of a CRM system may turn out to be a special add-on that also comes at a price, for example, web forms. Some CRM systems may offer this feature at an additional price for any plan. At NetHunt, it’s already included in the Business/Advanced plans.
“From my experience, one of the biggest red flags is when it's difficult to obtain the total price for delivery from the CRM system provider (including setup, integration, training, onboarding costs, etc.). All the costs associated with the CRM should be available upfront.”
🗣️ Kelly Chan, Accountant Online
There also might be severe limitations on cheaper plans; as a result, you’ll find yourself overpaying as you’ll have to upgrade to more advanced plans. A CRM system may offer a limited number of customer records that you create or limit the number of automations you may set up on lower plans. Eventually purchasing a CRM system that seemed more costly at the start can turn out cheaper as it already includes the upgrades that your business requires.
If you're a larger company, this may be worth the investment, but if you're a smaller organisation, it may put more strain on your finances than it's worth.
Keeping track of customer information is the most important part of any CRM. As a result, choosing a CRM solution that places security at the forefront and conforms to high-security standards is critical. Due to the prevalence of cloud-hosted CRM solutions these days, they are well-equipped to safeguard your data and identify and prevent potential cyber assaults. Your customer information is backed up frequently and securely protected. With the right CRM, you can be confident that your company's data is safe and sound.
This is especially important for data-sensitive businesses. Anyway, if you have a data leakage, it will ruin your reputation and may destroy your brand.
Request information about the vendor's data security policies and practices from them. Become familiar with the methods used to keep and protect your data in their facilities. The vendor's website is usually where you'll get this information. Make sure they provide data encryption, a virtual cloud, malware, spam protection, and GDPR compatibility.
“Security is another critical factor to consider when choosing a CRM system. Your CRM data contains sensitive information about your customers, so it’s essential that the system you choose has robust security features. Look for a CRM system that offers user authentication, data encryption, and access control.”
🗣️ Davin Joseph, Enamel Pins
In the CRM market, you'll find a lot of attractive-looking systems, but you'll soon discover that some of them are not worth your money. Looking for these warning signs could be the difference between saving money and losing it. Nethunt CRM, on the other hand, has none of these red flags in my very 'unbiased' perspective, so why not just use it?
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